Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fashion Flashback

We are TOTALLY bugging about London’s darling designer House of Holland's new line. Holland was the brains behind last season’s ubiquitous tongue-in-chic fashion tees, IE: “Cause Me Pain, Heidi Slimane”, thus becoming essential clubbing gear for hipsters worldwide from Black Calvados in Paris to Beatrice Inn in New York, but this season he’s gone a bit more ready-to-wear-ish than raver-ish. A bit.

Yesterday for his Fall 08 collection, Henry Holland turned stateside for inspiration with a nod to our 90s pop culture, namely, Clueless (Also known as the self-defining film of our adolescence.) Holland opened the show with an amazingly garish purple plaid ensemble, a la Cher and Di circa 1995. I’m not sure about you, but these outrageous outfits pretty much covered my wardrobe in 7th grade, thigh highs and all. Ah, adolescence; baby tees, cropped neon mohair sweaters, platform loafers…I mean, was there anything better?? Tragic pubescent awkwardness and fatal catfights notwithstanding, those were the best years of our lives.

But Holland has served us up some piping hot memories of our youth without a side of teen angst, just how we like it. He even updated the look with a new cheeky tee and rugged ankle boots, plus it-Brit model Agyness Denn makes a superb Alicia Silverstone of the new millennium.

Final Word: So are these garish duds coming back?? I’m not quite sure if I could pull off the puerile yet precocious Lolita look in my twenties, but Lord help me, I can try.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

An Open Letter to Chris Benz

Dear Mr. Benz,

We are at a strange time in fashion where personality seems to have eclipsed talent. Many young designers have earned their merits by logging in hours at Socialista rather than the studio, befriending a celebutante, calling her his muse, and churning out a few duds. Call us old fashioned, but that a designer does not make. Of course Hubert de Givenchy had Audrey Hepburn, Oleg Cassini had Jackie O, but these brilliant men owned talent and innovation beyond comprehension, and the relationships were reciprocal – they were not just one another’s party buddy.

Case in point: yourself. A regular fixture at Rose Bar and Beatrice Inn, the fashion world is abuzz with all things Benz. Even I was convinced when I saw you in a homemade towel turban at Colin Cowie’s party at the Hotel Belvedere in Mykonos; I was a bit star struck as I knew I was in the presence of the next designer du jour. We adored your Mary Tyler Moore 70s-inspired spring collection. It was as if Annie Hall had literally time traveled to present day looking as chic and fresh as ever. Those loose layers, that Technicolor palette, it was perfection.

But after a quick glance at your latest work, I’m afraid all of that ouzo and those flashing bulbs may have seeped through your turban. The clothing you previewed this week was sadly uninspired – as if you rummaged through Screaming Mimi’s and the Antique Boutique (Remember the beloved hand-me-down mecca on Broadway circa 1996?) and called it a day. Placing a gnome’s cap atop a translucent afro’ed model does not a designer make.

Final Word: We know you are talented, which is why we beseech you to reconsider that next invite to Paper’s Most Beautiful People party or whatever pseudo-uber-fete it may be to take time and put more thought into your next collection, we sincerely look forward to it.

With Love,
The Blackberrie

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

House Warming

I am drained. Between the Giants winning the Superbowl, Obama and Hillary neck and neck, and fashion week at its peak, I am emotionally, intellectually and spiritually exhausted.

No, I am not about to check myself into a psychiatric ward as is the trend in Tinseltown, but my senses cannot possibly bear any more over stimulation. I am unsure why the gods have collided my three greatest loves in one week (Obama is getting there), but to their own--and my acupuncturist’s--delight, they seem to find it comical to mess with my stress levels from time to time.

With the NY Post, Daily News, Times and every other tri-state media outlet covering the Giants historical win, we can focus the Blackberrie’s efforts towards more familiar pastures – fashion.

Oh fashion week, how we’ve neglected you. Big Blue’s victory has made it almost impossible to visit Style, ELLE, or any couture related dot-coms, and even more impossible to venture near the Tents at Bryant Park (even though they are around the corner). Instead of Oscar, Diane and Marc, visions of Manning, Tyree and Strayhan danced in our heads. But no more. With the last shred of the confetti fallen at City Hall and the ticker tape no longer ticking (What the hell is ticker tape anyway?) We can now focus our attention on much more serious things – the Fall 2008 collections.

Let us simply lay down the highlights, which we are sure to be donning downtown (or uptown depending on your zip code). Designers as a whole have made a move towards sophisticated, climate-appropriate, and proper dressing. Pencil skirts, skinny belts, wide trousers were abundant with no shortage of cozy knits and furs and hardly a mini in sight. Just glancing at our good friend Peter Som's looks (shown here), could it be that we are reverting back to the traditional time, when ladies dressed as ladies and gentlemen acted like, well, gentlemen? Perhaps dressing the part is all that it takes- The New York Times seems to think so.

Final Word: With demure dressing back, we wonder if true decorum will follow. Perhaps we are not far from afternoon teas at the Plaza, long walks in the park and even a good old-fashioned Blockbuster (read: Netflix) night. We can’t speak for others but with all this tweed and tartan, a cozy night by the fire, or radiator, seems to be just what the doctor ordered.